How do I Know If My Stomach Pain Is Serious?

Stomach pain can be a difficult symptom to manage, identify and diagnose as it can be caused by a range of underlying health conditions. However, there are some key signs and symptoms that can help to indicate how serious the stomach pain may be. Even more, knowing where to go when stomach pain can be challenging.

Between your primary care physician, urgent care, and emergency rooms it can be an expensive and harmful mistake to seek treatment at the wrong facility for treatment. nothing can be worse than arriving at urgent care with severe stomach pain, only to be sent away. At iCare in Argyle, we provide the convenience of urgent care when you need it while being connected to an emergency room when your condition is more severe.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to tell how severe your stomach pain may be and identify signs, symptoms, and management techniques. Be prepared with the knowledge to know and, where to go when you have stomach pain.

What is stomach pain defined as?

Stomach pain is a general term used to describe discomfort or pain in the abdominal region. The abdominal region is located between the chest and pelvis and stomach pain can be felt anywhere in this area. There are a number of organs in the abdominal region including the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and appendix. All of these organs can be a potential source of stomach pain.

Stomach pain is a common symptom and most people will experience it at some point in their life. It is usually not a serious problem and will resolve on its own. However, there are some cases where stomach pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition. This is why it is important to be aware of the different types and causes of stomach pain.

What are the different types of stomach pain?

There are two main types of stomach pain, acute and chronic.

Acute Stomach Pain

Comes on suddenly and usually lasts for a short period of time, no more than a few days.

Chronic Stomach Pain

Persists for long periods of time, often 3 or more months.

What are the different causes of stomach pain?

There are many different potential causes of stomach pain. The most common include:

  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Overeating
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Food poisoning
  • Infection
  • Appendicitis
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney stones
  • Ulcers
  • Hernia

How do I know if my stomach pain isn’t serious?

There are a few key signs and symptoms that can help you to determine how serious your stomach pain may be. While we discussed earlier that most stomach pain will correct on its own, here are some signs it may be more serious:

  • Severe pain that comes on suddenly
  • Pain that persists for more than a few days
  • Blood in your stool
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to have a bowel movement
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Vomiting blood
  • Black stool
  • Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Additionally, the following conditions may present as chronic stomach pain that will need treatment or management from a doctor:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Cancer

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention as they can be indicative of a more serious underlying health condition.

What does serious abdominal pain feel like?

Serious abdominal pain can vary in how it feels. It can be sharp or dull, constant or come and go. It can also be felt in different parts of the abdomen depending on the underlying cause. For example, appendicitis pain is usually felt in the lower right side of the abdomen while kidney stones may cause pain in the lower back or groin.

How to Manage Stomach pain

If you are experiencing stomach pain, there are a few things you can do at home to help ease the discomfort. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid foods that may trigger indigestion or heartburn such as spicy food, greasy food, caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of three large meals.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary drinks.
  • Don’t lie down immediately after eating.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Manage stress with relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.

If these at-home remedies are not providing relief, it is important to seek medical attention. An urgent care is a great place to get started especially if your symptoms are mild to moderate in nature.

When to visit iCare Urgent Care for Stomach Pain

There are a few instances where you should visit an urgent care center for stomach pain. These include:

  • If the pain is severe and comes on suddenly
  • If the pain persists for more than a few days
  • If you experience blood in your stool
  • If you have a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, or dizziness
  • Beware that stomach pain can be severe in nature at times. Please call 911 or visit an emergency room if you experience the following:
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Severe pain that radiates to your jaw, neck, or arm.
  • Sudden, severe stomach pain with no obvious cause.
  • Stomach pain that is so severe, you can’t sit still or find a comfortable position.

If you’re not sure whether your symptoms are serious or how to treat them. Then iCare Urgent Care in Argyle is a great place to start. Our Urgent Care is connected to Wise Health Emergency Room. This means within the spectrum of mild to severe stomach pain. Our facility can ensure you get the treatment you need. Book an appointment today or contact us for more details on treating and managing your stomach pain.


Monday – Friday 8:00A – 8:00P
Saturday 8:00A – 8:00P
Sunday 8:00A – 8:00P


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We’re here for you and can schedule an appointment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If the office is not open, we can refer you to one of our on call Doctors at your nearby hospital.


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